A Lesson From Nature’s School
by Charles F. Geddes
Lovely St Vincent and the Grenadines,
Sun-kissed gems of the Caribbean Sea,
All unspoilt havens of magical dreams,
Where a lesson from Nature was given to me.
‘Twas in Kingstown’s Botanic Gardens rare,
Where Nature’s splendour I had come to see,
That rippling notes suddenly filled the air,
From a song-bird atop a bread-fruit tree.
With landscape hushed, it drew my wondering gaze,
As shadows lengthened with the setting sun,
Free from all care to stem its flow of praise,
It seemed to crown the day now almost done.
In silent prayer I thanked our Lord above,
For caring for the little bird each day,
An object of His faithful care and love,
Its evening homage now had come to pay.
How glad it seemed to play the smallest part,
In its Creator’s vast and wondrous plan,
Contentment over-flowed its tiny heart,
In contrast to the vanity of man.
Man, masterpiece of God’s creative skill!,
Had sinned and introduced disharmony,
Now hate-filled nations war and fight and kill,
Brothers and sisters of one family.
But in those lovely gardens, calm and still,
Faint echo of fair Eden, so serene,
Where rebel man defied his Maker’s will,
This song-bird brought to mind a well-known “dream”.
And if we all shared the good doctor’s dream, *
And walked in close harmony hand in hand,
Believing “all are equal “ to be true,
We will, with God’s help, reach the Promised Land.
Praising the One who in love gladly came,
Our souls to save and give us peace and rest,
Dying for all upon a cross of shame,
Worthy to be enthroned in every breast.
God’s reconciling answer has been found,
And from sin’s shackles all can be set free,
To spread the gladsome message all around,
With word and song in joyful liberty.
I found the secret in that sanctuary,
Alone save for my happy feathered friend,
Two of God’s creatures joined in harmony,
As vespers from two hearts began to blend.
So what did I learn in that tranquil place,
From the bird perched upon the leafy tree?,
It was, as fellow subjects of God’s grace,
With thankful hearts we should united be.
l Dr Martin Luther King Junior’s famous speech.